From early in the school year, parents and caregivers of students at Pennsylvania's The School District of Philadelphia receive the message that they are appreciated. "Parent Appreciation Day" is an event that not only recognizes the contributions of families but shares information about low-cost and free services to help parents navigate through life.
Parent Appreciation Day brings parents and
"The information provided helps eliminate some of the barriers to parents' participation," explains Quibila Divine, the assistant director of the office of parent, family, and community engagement. "We invite parents and caregivers via the district's television channel -- PSTV 52, radio public service announcements, and email. We also post flyers and ask our school-based liaisons to help get the word out."
Hundreds of parents attend the annual Parent Appreciation Day. It is an all-day resource fair that includes breakfast, lunch, and workshops. Parents are celebrated for their volunteer efforts and learn new ways to get involved in schools. They are also given the opportunity to interact with various social service agencies and school personnel to discuss situations that they may not have been able to resolve on their own. Some lucky winners receive raffle prizes and incentives. The strong positive response from participants impresses Divine each year.
The sharing of information from community
"I recall being interviewed by a reporter, and she asked me, 'Why do you do this?'" she told Education World. "At that moment an attendee came up, kissed me on my cheek and said, 'Thank you!' I could not have timed it any better. I looked at the reporter and just asked, 'Does that explain it for you?'"
Parent Appreciation Day would not be possible without the support of sponsors and the planning committee members who work hard before, during, and after the event to make it a success. Title I funds and donations from community partners cover the cost.
Articles in this series are based on annual collections of Promising Partnership Practices by the National Network of Partnership Schools. Established by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, NNPS is dedicated to bringing together schools, districts and states that are committed to developing and maintaining comprehensive programs of school-family-community partnerships.